Death at a Funeral (2010 film)

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Death at a Funeral
A group of 11 people are either sitting on or near a casket with "This is one sad family" above the people and "Death at a Funeral" below the casket.
Theatrical release poster
Directed byNeil LaBute
Produced by
Screenplay byDean Craig
Based onDeath at a Funeral
by Dean Craig
Starring
Music byChristophe Beck
CinematographyRogier Stoffers
Edited byTracey Wadmore-Smith
Production
company
Distributed byScreen Gems
Release date
  • April 12, 2010 (2010-04-12) (Hollywood premiere)
  • April 16, 2010 (2010-04-16)
Running time
92 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
United Kingdom[2]
LanguageEnglish
Budget$21 million[3]
Box office$49.1 million[4]

Death at a Funeral is a 2010 American ensemble comedy film directed by Neil LaBute with a screenplay by Dean Craig based on the 2007 British film of the same name that Craig also wrote. Peter Dinklage is the only actor returning in the remake.

Plot[edit]

A funeral service is held for the father of Aaron (Chris Rock) and Ryan (Martin Lawrence). Aaron, the older son, and his wife Michelle (Regina Hall) live at his parents' home. Aaron and Michelle have been trying to buy their own home and have children but have been unsuccessful. Aaron envies his brother because Ryan is a successful author, while Aaron has not yet had his novel published, and resents him because Ryan would rather spend money on a first class airline ticket than help him pay for the funeral expenses.

Aaron and Ryan's cousin Elaine (Zoe Saldana) and her fiancé Oscar (James Marsden) are on their way to pick up Elaine's brother Jeff (Columbus Short) before heading to the funeral. To ease Oscar's nerves, she gives him a pill from a bottle labeled as Valium. Jeff later reveals to Elaine that it is a powerful hallucinogenic drug he has concocted for a friend. Chaos ensues when Oscar hallucinates that the coffin is moving. He knocks it over, and the body falls out of the coffin.

Aaron is approached by an unknown guest, a dwarf named Frank (Peter Dinklage), who reveals himself to be the secret gay lover of his late father. Frank shows Aaron photos as proof and threatens to reveal them to Aaron and Ryan's mother Cynthia (Loretta Devine) unless he is paid $30,000. While in shock, Aaron relays the situation to Ryan, who suggests Aaron to pay the money because Ryan claims that he is in debt. When Aaron and Ryan meet with Frank to pay him, Frank starts to deride Aaron's ability as a writer and Aaron refuses to pay. Frank turns violent, but Aaron and Ryan subdue him, tying him up to prevent him from leaving. Family friend Norman (Tracy Morgan) enters the room, giving Frank several doses of what he also believes is Valium to try to calm him down. Jeff also enters the room, telling them that it is the same hallucinogen Oscar took earlier.

When Jeff and Norman, who are supposed to be watching Frank, get distracted by Uncle Russell (Danny Glover), Frank releases himself from his bonds and is knocked unconscious upon falling over and hitting his head on a table. With Aaron, Ryan, Jeff and Norman believing that Frank is dead, they plan to put him in the coffin. While everyone is outside watching Oscar, who is on the roof naked and threatening to jump off the roof because he has seen Elaine's ex-boyfriend Derek (Luke Wilson) kissing her, Aaron and Ryan put Frank in the coffin. Elaine tells Oscar that Derek forcibly kissed her and calms him down by revealing she is pregnant. With everyone back inside, they continue the eulogy. While Aaron awkwardly tries to give his speech, Frank starts banging on the coffin, then suddenly forces it open and emerges. The pictures fall out of Frank's pocket, while Cynthia sees the pictures and screams at Frank, attacking him. Aaron yells for everyone's attention as he delivers a moving and impromptu eulogy, saying that his father was a good man with flaws like everyone else.

Aaron and Ryan say goodbye while Ryan gets a ride to the airport from Martina, whom he had been trying to seduce all day. Aaron and Michelle are finally alone when Aaron asks where Uncle Russell is. Michelle tells him that she gave him what she believes is Valium to calm him down, shocking Aaron. Uncle Russell sits on the roof naked, like Oscar had been, complaining about how "everything is so green."

Cast[edit]

  • Chris Rock as Aaron Barnes, a novelist and the main protagonist.
  • Martin Lawrence as Ryan Barnes, Aaron's selfish younger brother and a successful author.
  • Tracy Morgan as Norman, a family friend of the Barnes family.
  • Peter Dinklage as Frank Lovett, a dwarf and the main antagonist. He is the lover of Aaron's and Ryan's father. Dinklage also played the same role in the original.
  • Loretta Devine as Cynthia Barnes, Aaron and Ryan's widowed mother.
  • Danny Glover as Russell Barnes, the foul-mouthed uncle of Aaron, Ryan, Elaine and Jeff. He uses a wheelchair.
  • Regina Hall as Michelle Barnes, Aaron's wife, Ryan's sister-in-law and Cynthia's daughter-in-law.
  • James Marsden as Oscar, Elaine's fiancé.
  • Zoe Saldana as Elaine Barnes, Aaron and Ryan's cousin, Oscar's fiancé.
  • Columbus Short as Jeff Barnes, Elaine's brother.
  • Luke Wilson as Derek, Elaine's former boyfriend and Norman's best friend.
  • Keith David as Reverend Davis
  • Ron Glass as Dr. Duncan Barnes, Jeff and Elaine's father.
  • Kevin Hart as Brian
  • Regine Nehy as Martina
  • Robert Lee Minor as Edward Barnes, Aaron and Ryan's late father, and Cynthia's late husband.

Reception[edit]

Critical reception to the film was generally mixed with review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reporting that 41% of critics have given the film a positive review, based on 119 reviews, with the consensus "It's amusing and it assembles a talented cast, but Neil LaBute's surprisingly faithful remake of the 2007 Frank Oz dramedy ultimately falls short of the original."[5] Another review aggregator, Metacritic, gave the film an average score of 51 based on 25 reviews.[6]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 3 1/2 out of 4 stars, believing it was better than the original. He wrote, "here's the best comedy since The Hangover ... a lot of Death at a Funeral is in very bad taste. That's when I laughed the most."[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "DEATH AT A FUNERAL (15)". Columbia Pictures. British Board of Film Classification. April 23, 2010. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  2. ^ "Death at a Funeral". British Film Institute. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  3. ^ Fritz, Ben (April 18, 2010). "First look: Soft box-office start for 'Kick-Ass,' which is vying for No. 1 with 'Dragon'". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved April 24, 2010.
  4. ^ "Death at a Funeral (2010)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved April 28, 2010.
  5. ^ "Death at a Funeral Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2010-04-15.
  6. ^ "Death at a Funeral Reviews, Ratings, Credits". Metacritic. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 2010-04-15.
  7. ^ Ebert, Roger. Death at a Funeral. Chicago Sun-Times (April 14, 2010). Retrieved April 30, 2010.

External links[edit]